Local News

Leader of ReOpenNC group tested positive for COVID-19, quarantined herself

Posted April 27, 2020 1:29 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2020 6:53 p.m. EDT

One of the leaders of ReOpenNC, the movement against Gov. Roy Cooper's stay-at-home order, posted on Facebook that she tested positive for coronavirus.

Audrey Whitlock missed the group's first two rallies in Raleigh while she was in quarantine, a fellow organizer, Ashley Smith, told WRAL News.

Smith said that Whitlock tested positive three weeks ago.

"She never left her house during her quarantine, so she has not been at any rally or any of the functions that we've done," Smith said.

About 1,000 people rallied downtown last Tuesday against Cooper's stay-at-home order. Protesters say the order violates their constitutional rights.

In Whitlock's Facebook post, she wrote, "I will take a stand every day until we are a free people again, to sound the alarm because someone has to do the right thing in the face of wrong."

She wrote on Facebook that her quarantine ended on Sunday and ended her post with "See you Tuesday."

While Smith initially told WRAL News she expected Whitlock to be in the crowd, she reversed course just before 5 p.m. and said Whitlock would not attend.

"I'm not responsible for other people's choices. I'm for personal liberty," Smith said. "Everyone has their own decisions to make. If they want to come, that's up to them. I'm going to be there. I'm not afraid of the virus. I'm more afraid of losing my constitutional rights and losing my livelihood than I am of the virus."

Organizers told WRAL News that ReOpenNC would be focusing their next rally on the state legislative building.

Smith said the Mcklenberg County Health Department never followed up with Whitlock to trace her contacts or to ensure she kept her quarantine.

"It was never handled as something as serious as what our governor is perpetrating," she said.

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